Congratulations Jim and Patrick! Married After Five Decades in Love

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June 2, 2014
Jim Darby and Patrick Bova

Today, Jim Darby and Patrick Bova, lead plaintiffs in Lambda Legal's lawsuit seeking marriage for same-sex couples in Illinois, were married after over 50 years of love and commitment.

Questions about the marriage law in Illinois? Read our FAQ.

Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project Director for Lambda Legal, said:

What a joyous day! Jim and Patrick have waited for decades to marry each other. Always together and always sharing a joke or a smile, Jim and Patrick are examples of how nurturing and strong love can be. They've marched together in countless parades and engaged in peaceful protests to end discrimination against lesbians and gay men in the military, and then became lead plaintiffs in our lawsuit for the freedom to marry. Not only did they fight for justice at home, Jim also fought for his country abroad - he is a proud Korean War veteran. I'm thrilled to have witnessed the day when our government finally granted him the dignity and respect of allowing him to marry the love of his life. Jim and Patrick reflect the best our nation has to offer, and they are wonderful role models not just for gay and lesbian youth, but for all of us. I'm honored to know them and toast their great American love story. Cheers!

Jim Bennett, Midwest Regional Director, said:

Jim and Patrick are icons in Chicago and Illinois: almost anyone who has worked in Illinois on veterans issues or marriage for same-sex couples know and recognize them for their lifetime of activism. They are two important role models in my life and it is an honor and a privilege for me to have officiated their wedding. Fifty one years of love and commitment is something many of us strive for but rarely achieve, and to think that hand-in-loving-hand, they have seen a sea change in our country on so many civil rights struggles is inspiring. Over 1,550 marriage licenses have been issued in Cook county since February, and I'd like to think that Jim and Patrick's story inspired many of those couples to tie the knot. They are resilient yet light-hearted, determined yet laid back, and have made my work at Lambda Legal a joy knowing that the fight for marriage in Illinois not only included them, it was led by Jim and Patrick. I congratulate Jim and Patrick on their epic courtship, a Midwestern story that is as romantic as it is historic.

Read the press release.